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Play Off 2018 Chat

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Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:02 pm


So we are in the play offs for the first time in our history. Most probably against middlesborough with the away leg first. IMO we have to look to win both legs, as today showed we aren't great when chasing the game - I think our strongest 11 is more less what started today - with Hutton for Taylor and Jedi for whelan, tempting to stick Kjodia in for Adomah who has looked a bit ropey the last few games, but think Kjodi needs a goal v millwall to claim that place - plus he is a nice option to have off the bench.

I answered 'No' in the poll. I don't think we have enough in the tank when things start to go against us. We run out of ideas pretty quickly . We need to be on top in all 3 play off games (assuming there is 3 !!!!)
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by Saunders82 on Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:24 pm

I think we have enough in our tank to go all the way, as long as we are up for it just like against Wolves, Preston, Bristol etc, if the QPR team turn up then its curtains i'm afraid. But I think Brucie will have it all sorted, he has done it before.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:48 am

I'm not very confident but mostly because I'm used to things going wrong for us, it almost feels as though we're stuck in an infinite loop of hope and disappointment, just hope we can finally cast out this wicked nightmare once and for all.

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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by De Kuip on Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:24 am

I hope we beat Boro (it it does turn out to be them) for obvious reasons, but also because for whatever reason Pulis seemed obsessed with the Villa when he managed the baggies, so it would be great to rub his nose in it.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by FoxyAV on Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:58 am

Our best team doesn't involve Whelan or Jedi, we need Thor in front of the defence. He's fast, can score and doesn't run out of energy. None of which applies to Whelan or Jedi. One of them should be on the bench. The biggest problem for us is going to be Traoré, unless we can get him red carded in the first 10 minutes. That's why we need some extra muscle (speed, energy, legs - Thor) to support the likely Snoddy/Elmo/Hourihane on the right hand side of the pitch.

I think the team can win the playoffs, I'm not convinced Bruce can. The rest of the teams in the playoffs haven't bought the league, they're in the playoffs by virtue of playing well as teams with strong leadership. Bruce was brought in as a promotion specialist and I feel the only reason we haven't taken automatic promotion is his odd player selections/inability to change a game in progress/complete lack of change when we come out at half time at 0-0 and then usually concede. I think the players are working well and had we had the team spirit we have now at the start of the season we may well be over the line already. If we can keep the best players (and wave bye bye to distractions like Terry and Onomah) we should be fine next season. If we go up I think we'll be in trouble as we don't have anywhere near the core or momentum we'll need, so we'll come back down again and be in trouble.

Maybe I just don't want us to go up. If we can keep the good players and give them another season together under a decent manager we may well get the run up we need.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by DelboyVilla on Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:12 pm

I hope Fulham win big against the sty dwellers (sending them down) and also get the 2nd place spot as with their current form no one would want to face them in a play off finals? I think we can beat Boro and Cardiff but I have my doubts against Fulham?

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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:17 pm

@DelboyVilla wrote:I hope Fulham win big against the sty dwellers (sending them down) and also get the 2nd place spot as with their current form no one would want to face them in a play off finals? I think we can beat Boro and Cardiff but I have my doubts against Fulham?

Cardiff have Reading at home though ! - So most likley Fulham will take 3rd place. - The play offs themselves have a habit of throwing up surprises so all is not lost.
For some reason Middlesborough are shorter odds than us for promotion.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by Dazzle on Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:10 pm

Cardiff will finish 2nd after a good win at Hull. Boro look to be finding good form, Fulham with Mitrovic have been the form team for some time now. You just never know which Villa will turn up for a game, I just hope Bruce gets it right for the playoffs. I hope to see our better performers left out for the Millwall game, to risk them now would be silly. Feet up time for Grealish, Grabban, Chester. Games for Lansbury, Hogan, Samba etc.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:11 pm

We've got to caution against taking it for granted that we'd beat Derby, Middlesbrough or Cardiff, it's not as if we did brilliantly against them in the league; and during the season proper whilst we won some big matches, whenever we had a chance to actually take advantage of a good position and really kick on we'd crumble.

I personally think we'll get knocked out in the semis by either Derby or Middlesbrough, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're all but beat before we even return to Villa Park.

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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by De Kuip on Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:51 am

@deadbuzzardalive wrote:We've got to caution against taking it for granted that we'd beat Derby, Middlesbrough or Cardiff, it's not as if we did brilliantly against them in the league; and during the season proper whilst we won some big matches, whenever we had a chance to actually take advantage of a good position and really kick on we'd crumble.

I personally think we'll get knocked out in the semis by either Derby or Middlesbrough, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're all but beat before we even return to Villa Park.

Does anyone else apart from me have a horrible feeling that if it is to be Boro, that in some way Traore will play some kind of significant part and possibly return to haunt us?
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:28 am

@De Kuip wrote:
@deadbuzzardalive wrote:We've got to caution against taking it for granted that we'd beat Derby, Middlesbrough or Cardiff, it's not as if we did brilliantly against them in the league; and during the season proper whilst we won some big matches, whenever we had a chance to actually take advantage of a good position and really kick on we'd crumble.

I personally think we'll get knocked out in the semis by either Derby or Middlesbrough, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're all but beat before we even return to Villa Park.

Does anyone else apart from me have a horrible feeling that if it is to be Boro, that in some way Traore will play some kind of significant part and possibly return to haunt us?

Equally the second leg if viable will likely be an explosive match - could easily see him red carded. I am sure JT has nullified bigger threats than traroe in his career.
We mustn't loose the first leg - I worry more about that than the home leg and indeed should we face fulham in the final.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by DelboyVilla on Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:13 am

@De Kuip wrote:
@deadbuzzardalive wrote:We've got to caution against taking it for granted that we'd beat Derby, Middlesbrough or Cardiff, it's not as if we did brilliantly against them in the league; and during the season proper whilst we won some big matches, whenever we had a chance to actually take advantage of a good position and really kick on we'd crumble.

I personally think we'll get knocked out in the semis by either Derby or Middlesbrough, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're all but beat before we even return to Villa Park.

Does anyone else apart from me have a horrible feeling that if it is to be Boro, that in some way Traore will play some kind of significant part and possibly return to haunt us?

Thank f*ck Gestede is injured?

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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:06 pm

Traore if on form will be a threat, especially against Hutton, who whilst improved as a left-back is somewhat exposed when faced with blistering pace. But it's not just about Traore since Pullis has taken them over Middlesbrough have become a decent team who will be very difficult to beat over two legs, especially if they go into the second leg with any kind of a lead, to fair they can be a bit of a hot and cold team themselves, I think a lot will depend on who copes best with the pressure, Terry's presence and experience could be very important for us.


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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by Dazzle on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:24 pm

Any game against any Pulis team is going to be a horrible game. I think that whilst we certainly don’t underestimate the threats they carry in Traore and Assombolonga, we shouldn’t forget that they will be concerned about the likes of Grabban, Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah etc who have got goals and assists in them this season. The 1st leg at their place will be where the tie is decided, in my opinion. I think this could be a case of whoever scores first wins the tie.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:38 pm

@Dazzle wrote:Any game against any Pulis team is going to be a horrible game. I think that whilst we certainly don’t underestimate the threats they carry in Traore and Assombolonga, we shouldn’t forget that they will be concerned about the likes of Grabban, Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah etc who have got goals and assists in them this season. The 1st leg at their place will be where the tie is decided, in my opinion. I think this could be a case of whoever scores first wins the tie.

Think we have a good record against against Tony Pullis lead sides though. Agree about the first leg though - vital we don't loose. Although to be perfectly honest I have no love for premiership football
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by Dazzle on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:52 pm

Given that, for us, the Millwall tie is a dead rubber should we completely rest some important players that could easily get a kick whilst Millwall are still fighting like rats in a sack for that last promotion place? I know I would. I’d not be letting Grealish, Grabban, Snodgrass, Chester, Terry, or Hourihane anywhere near the starting 11. In fact I’d also be looking to protect Hutton and Elmo as well given that there is no reliable cover that is fit for either of those. Even Bunn would start in goal with Johnstone on the bench.
My starting 11 at Millwall; Bunn, Bree, Taylor, Samba, Jedinak, Whelan, Lansbury, DoyleHayes, O’Hare, Davis, Hogan.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by Dazzle on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:57 pm

@smetro wrote:
@Dazzle wrote:Any game against any Pulis team is going to be a horrible game. I think that whilst we certainly don’t underestimate the threats they carry in Traore and Assombolonga, we shouldn’t forget that they will be concerned about the likes of Grabban, Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah etc who have got goals and assists in them this season. The 1st leg at their place will be where the tie is decided, in my opinion. I think this could be a case of whoever scores first wins the tie.

Think we have a good record against against Tony Pullis lead sides though. Agree about the first leg though - vital we don't loose. Although to be perfectly honest I have no love for premiership football

I have no love for Premier League football either, I think it’s just a case of we know we need the money that promotion will bring as the alternative could be quite dark and result in us struggling for a few more years. I’d quite happily watch us go up, add one or two players where really needed, and wouldn’t be too bothered if we fell back down as long as we hadn’t financially busted ourselves.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by FoxyAV on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:27 pm

I was talking bollocks earlier, we need Thor protecting our left flank, not our right.

Anyway, here's how Bruce won promotion four times before:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/record-breaking-steve-bruce-promotion-13073621

Note that every time he played a 4-4-2. Bearing in mind he bought Hogan, I wonder what he thought he was doing. This quote made me laugh:

“You’re only as good as your strikers.”

Well done Steve. That's why you spent the first half of this season completely failing to play to Hogan's strengths and gave him scraps to chase.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:55 pm

@FoxyAV wrote:I was talking bollocks earlier, we need Thor protecting our left flank, not our right.

Anyway, here's how Bruce won promotion four times before:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/record-breaking-steve-bruce-promotion-13073621

Note that every time he played a 4-4-2. Bearing in mind he bought Hogan, I wonder what he thought he was doing. This quote made me laugh:

“You’re only as good as your strikers.”

Well done Steve. That's why you spent the first half of this season completely failing to play to Hogan's strengths and gave him scraps to chase.

Hogan looked a good buy at the time. But has been utter dog shite for his time here. I think the style of play thing is an overated excuse - Grabban has scored plenty with the same service - and his all round play is better to (Cause and affect ?) Hogan just hasn't stepped up \ worked out call it what you will - it happens. The goal drought is so bad for hogan as he has no other footballing attributes, his first touch, ability to beat a man, ability to retain possession are the worst I have seen for a big fee player.

That said I think Hogan would fit best into a 4-4-2 - Can't see him working as a lone striker - he is just to limited.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:00 pm

@Dazzle wrote:
@smetro wrote:
@Dazzle wrote:Any game against any Pulis team is going to be a horrible game. I think that whilst we certainly don’t underestimate the threats they carry in Traore and Assombolonga, we shouldn’t forget that they will be concerned about the likes of Grabban, Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah etc who have got goals and assists in them this season. The 1st leg at their place will be where the tie is decided, in my opinion. I think this could be a case of whoever scores first wins the tie.

Think we have a good record against against Tony Pullis lead sides though. Agree about the first leg though - vital we don't loose. Although to be perfectly honest I have no love for premiership football

I have no love for Premier League football either, I think it’s just a case of we know we need the money that promotion will bring as the alternative could be quite dark and result in us struggling for a few more years. I’d quite happily watch us go up, add one or two players where really needed, and wouldn’t be too bothered if we fell back down as long as we hadn’t financially busted ourselves.

I know what you mean, bigger picture and all that - But when I wake up on a Saturday next season - 'great villa are at home' - the excitement\enjoyment factor will be so much greater if its a championship match - rather than 'wonder if we can hold on for a 0-0'
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by gaffer85 on Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:22 pm

@smetro wrote:
@Dazzle wrote:
@smetro wrote:
@Dazzle wrote:Any game against any Pulis team is going to be a horrible game. I think that whilst we certainly don’t underestimate the threats they carry in Traore and Assombolonga, we shouldn’t forget that they will be concerned about the likes of Grabban, Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah etc who have got goals and assists in them this season. The 1st leg at their place will be where the tie is decided, in my opinion. I think this could be a case of whoever scores first wins the tie.

Think we have a good record against against Tony Pullis lead sides though. Agree about the first leg though - vital we don't loose. Although to be perfectly honest I have no love for premiership football

I have no love for Premier League football either, I think it’s just a case of we know we need the money that promotion will bring as the alternative could be quite dark and result in us struggling for a few more years. I’d quite happily watch us go up, add one or two players where really needed, and wouldn’t be too bothered if we fell back down as long as we hadn’t financially busted ourselves.

I know what you mean, bigger picture and all that - But when I wake up  on a Saturday next season - 'great villa are at home' - the excitement\enjoyment factor will be so much greater if its a championship match - rather than 'wonder if we can hold on for a 0-0'  

Have to say disagree if I wake up next season in the premier I will be far more excited than now
Also if we don't get to premier we'll never know if our owner is the real deal or not and 0-0 against man city or the likes is better than a 3-0 v Burton or co
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by De Kuip on Tue May 01, 2018 7:25 am

Have to agree with the gaffer- whilst there are many many things I despise about the Prem, it's where Villa ought to be.
If we stay in the championship so be it and there's much to recommend it, I've enjoyed many more games than I did in any of our last 4 to 5 season's in the Prem, but that doesn't mean I think we are okay to remain - because we really arent.
I don't want to see VP with the top of the Trinity closed more often than not, I don't want to have to rely on the Birmingham mail live text cos there's simply no coverage of our games if you are not there/live 200 miles away. I don't want other people's loanees. I don't want to be in the same division as the knuckle draggers and the Tesco carrier bags.
I don't want us crippled by ffp because our tv income is negligible, I don't want Bruce as manager and I do want us to be playing in the big league again.
Nope, the championship is great, but it ain't Villa.
The championship is like a slightly overweight, average looking girl - plenty of comfortable fun and always makes you welcome, but the prem is that hot girl who, whilst a bit up herself and more aloof, is still the one you really want.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Tue May 01, 2018 8:09 am

This idea of wanting to stay in the Championship because we win more games, might not even hold true next season, once FFP has ravaged our plans. People seem to think that if we go up we'll just go back to being how we was in our last few seasons in the prem, but forget that we only really struggled because Lerner lost in interest, before that we were relatively competitive, and with interested owners there's no reason why we can't be again.

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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by FoxyAV on Tue May 01, 2018 10:10 am

I'm not sure I necessarily want to stay in the Championship because we win more games although it is nice to do so occasionally after a few years of decline and struggling to win anything. It's a shame I don't feel much enthusiasm even though we're in fourth and going into the playoffs, Bruce just hasn't succeeded in putting together a properly functioning and integrated version of Hull - sorry, I mean team - and we seem to struggle through every match, whether winning or not.

I don't however think we're ready for the PL. We spent years having the team rebuilt every season, only for the occasional player to work and the manager to change and bring in new formations and occasionally tactics. We have no momentum and no decent style of play other than HOOF (or Jack collecting it and running through the middle). If we make it up we'll need a new manager and a new set of players. We're then dependent on the owner, and going to have to hope Bruce doesn't spend the money because if he does we'll be stuck with a new set of Gabbys, Richards' and Whelans, taking huge wages for the next three years.

Bruce took our solid defence and weakened it by throwing away Baker and sticking in Terry, who is not a good prospect for the future. We don't have LBs or RBs good enough for the PL, our midfield is Jack plus a supporting cast of ex-PL players and ones probably at their level. The strikers are all over the place and the wingers seemed to work when the strikers weren't functioning but no longer score now they are.

On top of this the goalie, one of the wingers and main striker are on loan. Very few of our players are good enough for the PL. Chester, Grealish, er... We appear to have bought the best players in the Championship and some PL rejects and created a team that's good enough for the Championship playoffs. Wolves already look like a PL team, we look a mess.

Essentially we're (at least) another season away from having a coherent team ready to move forward. Having said that the worst thing that could happen would be to stay in the Championship and start to lose all our good players. We've not really been bringing academy players through (when Bruce would rather play Jedi in defence than one of our U23 defenders, for example). It's been a very disappointing two years in the Championship overall.
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Re: Play Off 2018 Chat

Post by smetro on Tue May 01, 2018 3:29 pm

I don't necessarily want to stay in the championship because we win more games. I just hate the prem has sold its soul to sky. I can't bear to watch match of the day with linker and co and the in jokes 'whats wrighty think, ho, ho, ho,' - 'dunno what murphs is on about ho ho ho' - and don't get me started on 'Lawro'

Sure we don't see the big teams - but do we anyway - Typically Manu u or liverpool rock up - go 2-0 up after 25 minutes - then just pass the ball around for the next hours - and kill 15 minutes making the allotted 3 substitutions and faking injuries. On a good day we might scrape a 0-0 with liverpool - Great !!!

Onto the games we might feasibly win for example Bournemouth, Watford and Swansea - tell me is that honestly much different to Derby, Shef U, or Leeds ?

Totally get what u mean about the finances going downhill if we don't secure promotion - but purley as a viewing spectacle on a Saturday afternoon - its the championship for me every time. To validate this I had spare ticket for the derby match so persuaded my baggie following mate to come - he was distraught about the prospect of playing in the championship next season. After the game he was enthused couldn't believe how exciting it was - ok its one match but you get the point.
There is football (good football) beyond sky and the premiership.


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